Date:Tuesday June 6 2006
Alan Shearer has not gone straight into retirement, but onto our screens with the BBC, and perhaps he can at long last get rid of the 'boring' tag that has followeed him for so long.
As a leading member of the BBC`s World Cup panel, Shearer will be present in Germany. Hopefully to bring a bit of banter and laughter to our front rooms, rather than his usual post-match interviews of nothingness.
Shearer is not rushing to engage in the clamour surrounding Peter Crouch, who scored three times against Jamaica last Saturday but, absurdly, wasted a penalty. "Sometimes you don`t know what you are going to get from Peter Crouch. He produces moments of magic, but then he can misplace the simplest of passes.
"You want to tell him to get the ball down and do the simple thing and I wasn`t happy with his penalty. It was a chance for his hat-trick in a game before the World Cup and he tried to dink it in. You have to be a special player to be able to do that — and I don`t think he is at that stage yet.
"Everyone handles criticism in their own way. For some, it will affect their play. Some won`t give a damn because they don`t read it or listen to it. Some, it will spur them on — in a weird sort of way, they`ll enjoy it. I think I was in that category, where the more I was criticised, the more I wanted to prove people wrong.
"Whether we like it or not, centre forwards are in the business of scoring goals and we get judged on that — wrongly in my opinion, because there`s a lot more to it. Up to Euro 96, I wasn`t scoring. I put my head on the block by saying 'judge me when it really matters in competition and if I haven`t scored then, I don`t deserve to be in the team`. Thankfully, it worked. If it hadn`t, I might not have played for England again."
Freed from the shackles of the Premiership, Captain Creosote may be loosening up.
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